One of the duties of a web designer is to offer WordPress website hosting recommendations for our clients. Choosing quality hosting is crucial for a well-performing website. Hosting is like the lot upon which you build your house–your house, being your website. If you have a lot with poor drainage, for example, you will have house issues. This post focuses specifically on WordPress hosting, because we build strictly for WordPress.

Details of hosting:

  • Storage – How much space do you need for all your files? If you have a small site without a bunch of media files (music, podcasts, videos, etc.), 10GBs will suffice.
  • Speed – Server speed is an important factor for your site’s load speed. A faster load speed, means better SEO. Look for unlimited bandwidth.
  • Security – Do they scan for malware? How quickly does the company respond to hacks?
  • Customer Service – Someday, even at the best companies, you will need to speak to customer service. When that day comes, you’ll want to have a number of ways to contact them, you’ll want them to be available when you need them, you’ll want them to be friendly, you’ll want them to be competent, and you’ll want them to be efficient.
  • Site Backup & Restoration – Will they take daily, weekly, or monthly backups? If your site gets deleted somehow or corrupted, will they provide site restoration?
  • Updates – Will they update WordPress for you? (We offer comprehensive, monthly maintenance packages.)
  • Email – Does the website hosting come with email hosting? If you find a plan you love, like WPEngine, that doesn’t offer email hosting, you can always get Google Apps.

Types of hosting:

  • Managed hosting – Not only will they host your website, they’ll also automatically backup you site, update WordPress, provide built-in caching and enhanced security. This isn’t the cheapest option, but it’s a great to have someone taking care of your business.
  • Shared hosting – Most hosting is shared hosting, which means you share the server’s space, performance, and security with other websites. This is the cheapest option and can be a great place to start for lower-traffic sites.
  • Virtual Private Server hosting – Your site will live on its own partition on a server with a protected and reserved amount of memory and power. You want this type of server if you’re expecting rapid growth, a medium-sized business, or running complex web applications.
  • Dedicated hosting – Your own physical server, just for you. This is the most expensive option and only recommended for high-traffic websites.

Recommended WordPress website hosts:

  • HostGator – Shared, VPS, and Dedicated hosting. Solid. Respected. Houston/Austin-based.
  • MediaTemple – VPS hosting. Used by Adobe, AIGA, CBS, and Samsung. Based in LA.
  • WPEngine – Managed hosting. Leader in the industry. Austin-based.

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photo by brownpau @Flickr